Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager
(518) 354-2250, firstname.lastname@example.org
Women’s bobsled kicks off World Championships tomorrow
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (Feb. 16, 2012)–The first two heats of the women’s bobsled competition will kick off the 2012 World Championships in Lake Placid at 9:30 am on Friday. Racing will resume with the medal deciding runs at 5 pm on Saturday. There will be 17 teams vying for the crown, including three American sleds.
“We have a very nice mix of young and experienced athletes,” said Todd Hays, women’s bobsled head coach. “We are on our home track and the girls have a lot of runs and race experience in Lake Placid. The best part about this team is that they are all great competitors and will be coming into this World Championships ready to fight for gold.”
Second year pilot Elana Meyers (Douglasville, Ga.) will team with rookie Katie Eberling (Palos Hills, Ill.) in the USA-1 KOA sled. Meyers claimed silver as a brakeman with Shauna Rohbock in the 2009 World Championships, and she will attempt to make history by claiming the first title for the U.S. women’s program. Bree Schaaf (Bremerton, Wash.) and Emily Azevedo (Chico, Calif.) will partner as USA-2 in the Sliding for Hope sled, while Jazmine Fenlator (Wayne, N.J.) and Ingrid Marcum (Elmhurst, Ill.) will compete in the USA-3 FDNY sled.
Although the U.S. has a home track advantage, the Germans will be tough competitors. Sandra Kiriasis maintains the Lake Placid track record and will seek to add another World Championship title to her lengthy list of bobsled achievements. Cathleen Martini will look to defend her 2011 World Championship title, and Anja Schneiderheinze has burst onto the World Cup tour to make Germany a triple threat for the podium. Switerland’s Fabienne Meyer has had a breakthrough season, and she could surprise the field with a podium finish. Other athletes to watch include Canadians Helen Upperton and Kaillie Humphries, both 2012 Olympic medalists.
The U.S. team are favorites for the title on home ice and are expected to battle for the medals. Here’s what the U.S. pilots had to say about the upcoming competition:
Elana Meyers: “World Championships is going to be a fight. From the first 50-meters to the final timing eye on the fourth run, it’s going to be close. The field is stacked with Olympic and former World Champions, so I’m very excited to be able to compete against this field. My focus is pushing fast and putting four solid runs together. If Katie and I can do that, we’ll be happy.
“I’m very excited that the U.S. has the opportunity to host World Championships this season. The Olympic Regional Development Authority has worked really hard to prepare the track and put on a stellar event, so I’m really excited to race here. After living here for the past two seasons, Lake Placid is home. It’s nice to be able to come home and race the biggest race of the year.”
Bree Schaaf: “There is definitely comfort in the familiarity of home ice. It’s much easier to deal with all the variables, including injury, when surrounded by such a supportive town and a staff that feels like family at the track and Olympic Training Center. I started skeleton in Lake Placid and this was also where I switched bobsled, so I essentially ‘grew up’ as a slider here. Being in such a familiar place definitely dissipates the pressure of performance and makes it easier to focus on the task at hand.”
Jazmine Fenlator: “There is always an advantage of sliding on your home track for a World Cup event, but especially for World Championships. Competing for the time on the World Cup circuit this year, I had the chance to learn and compete on all different tracks. Lake Placid remains a favorite. I am super excited to be competing in Worlds on home ice. Not only is it awesome to have my mom and family see me do what I love, but I am representing the USA in bobsled’s biggest event of the year. I almost lost my mom a year ago, so having her attend and watch me race means that much more.”
The International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation will provide World Championship highlights following each race for requesting SNTV subscribing broadcast organizations. The news feed will be released one hour following the last event of the day. Broadcast partners are asked to adhere to a list of guidelines that can be found by clicking here. Please contact Heather Le Pere at (914) 525-0285 or via email at email@example.com for satellite coordinates.
Tickets can be purchased at the gate or online at www.Whiteface.com. If you can’t attend the events in person, watch live streaming of all World Championship races on www.FIBT.com. You can also download the Digotel Live+ for iOS iPhone app to watch from your mobile device, or catch the action on Universal Sports.
For media inquiries, please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at (518) 354-2250.
About the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation
The United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation, based in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States. The USBSF would like to thank its sponsors, suppliers and contributors for their support: BMW of North America, Under Armour, United States National Guard, Kampgrounds of America, National Strength and Conditioning Association, Vivat!, Global Forwarding, KBC Helmets, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, EDAS/Ripxx, UberSense, Tesa Tape and Ferris Mfg. Corp. For more information, please visit the USBSF website at http://bobsled.teamusa.org.